Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Azathioprine and Super-mild Crohns...

06-04-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Azathioprine and Super-mild Crohns...

So I was diagnosed with Crohns earlier this year thanks to Weight loss, loose stool and occasional blood.

I've never had very severe symptoms like some (most?) and I realise how lucky I am. I've had an endoscopy, colonoscopy and barium meal to diagnose, with biopsies taken through the endoscopy. Only a small amount of crohn's was found.

All good. They put me on a 3 month course of Budesonide to try and clear what was there and as of last Friday have started me on Aza.

The thing is, looking through all the potential risks of Aza (I realise it's seen as a fairly mild treatment overall), the problems from Aza seem far heftier than my Crohn's will be in the near future. It's shown no sign of flaring and has been sitting pretty idle for at least a couple of years.

Basically i'm just after reassurance really that the Aza is the right way to go to stave off future flares and keep it all under control I suppose...

06-04-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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Some people take AZA and remain in remission for many years thanks to it. Now, I do understand you being concerned with the AZA side effects in consideration to your mild crohn. Are you actually symptoms free? It is always tricky to say if you should or shouldnot go medfree for a while and see what happens or play the safe game and take a maintenance medication. It is a guess that can cost a lot if the disease act harshly. Rare are the GI that will willingly tell you to wait and see but it happens and in these situation, you need a close check up routine to make sure everything is ok. If your crohn is active as you seem to say, it is likely that therapy like AZA is probably the way to go as an entry treatment.
Diagnosed UC 1999 then refractory CD.
Past Meds: Prednisone, asacol, cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, mp6, Humira

Currently taking: Omega-3, D-3, med-free for the time being.
~~Oh! n sorry if what I write seems strange at times, English is not my main language!~~

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06-05-2013, 12:15 AM   #3
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I think many here will tell you that untreated and under treated Crohn's is far worse than the Aza side effects, which very few people even experience. Doctors don't prescribe these meds lightly and I guess I'd say that if that's what your GI is suggesting, then you should probably give it a try. This disease is simply too unpredictable.
Mom of DS, age 17, dx Crohn's and Celiac Oct 2008
- Remicade, started Nov 2013
- added Methotrexate/Folate March 2016
- Multivitamins, Probiotics, Vit D
- Small bowel resection, Jan 2013
06-05-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
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I agree that the risks of going untreated are likely worse than the risks of the Aza. Something to keep in mind is that Crohn's is unpredictable - just because you haven't flared recently doesn't mean you won't soon, and because it's been mild up until now doesn't necessarily mean any future flares would be too. Taking the Aza could prevent a worsening of your Crohn's that would be much more difficult to deal with.

Keep in mind that the potential risks and side effects are just that - potential. It's unlikely you'd experience many problems, if any. Try not to let those possibilities discourage you. As long as you keep a close watch on any changes in your body when you start a medication, and notify your doctor of any concerning side effects, there's very little to worry about. If the medication is too hard on you, you can always stop taking it (I suggest that you discuss this with your doctor before doing so, though).

However, if you're uncomfortable taking Aza now, that's your choice and you should tell your doctor. You could try Pentasa (mesalamine) first. It's a more gentle medication, but it's not always very effective.

I hope you get things sorted out soon!

Diagnosed with Crohn's disease 12/6/08.
Have taken: Prednisone, 6mp, methotrexate, Pentasa.
Currently waiting for a new medication!

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06-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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There are potential risks associated with Aza, but then you also are running risks by going unmedicated. I did for 2 years and it came back like a tonne of bricks. If you can avoid having to take more harsh medications and treatments like Prednisolone then I'd definitely go for it given my case. But then again, everyone is different, and it's possible you could go for ages without any issues. It's just too unpredictable, as Mehita said.

Diagnosed mid 2009
Past Tx: Prednisolone, Enteral Nutrition
Current: Azathioprine, Omeprazole, EN supplements, Small bowel resection to remove 2 strictures.

"How we survive is what makes us who we are!" - Rise Against

06-05-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2013
Thanks everyone, it's very much what I expected but still very helpful. Sometimes it's just nice to see others views, helps solidify my own

I've never had a single day in pain from Crohns which I realise the more I spend in groups such as this how lucky that makes me. My crohn's was mostly discovered by accident (weight loss, bleeding and D rather than pain) and along the way they found type 2 diabetes, so it's been a bit traumatic on me physically and mentally.

My doctors are aware of the year i've had and i'm on a low starter-dose of Aza for the next couple of weeks so thank you all very much. I'll keep trucking along and see how it all goes

Thanks again.
06-05-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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Exactly! Just keep trucking. It is definitely hard finding out you need to live with something, but I guess dwelling on it is what makes it worse (mentally) than it really is.

Sometimes other peoples opinions and experiences are just what you need to be honest (this forum has helped me so much!)

Good luck with it all. I hope it all goes as smooth as possible for you!
06-06-2013, 04:52 AM   #8
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I too have fairly mild crohns symptoms wise (in comparison to others) - I do get occasional pain & D but my most frequent symptoms were severe bloating, gas & fatigue - things I thought I could live with so went treatment free for 3-4 years after diagnosis. However, my most recent MRI scan showed that even though I was feeling OK for the most part, the Crohns was causing damage to my bowel and was definitely progressing - I was more than likely going to need surgery if I left it - so I've started on Aza to try to prevent that from happening (today is my first day on it....eeep!) - remember even if your current symptoms are mild, doesnt mean that the CD isnt causing unseen damage. Have a good think! xx
06-06-2013, 09:04 AM   #9
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I also have mild Crohn's symptoms and I have found that Azathioprine in the past and 6mp have been God send medications for me. There was a break when I was off Aza and I was fine for several months but then the Crohn symptoms came back and I had to start over with a new GI doctor, who prescribed me the 6mp.

There are some people who posted here that had problems with it and had to go off of it. However, the immunosuppressants have been very helpful for many of us and they are much more convenient to take than the biologics.

My advice would be to keep on taking Aza, as long as you don't have problems with it, to prevent future flares.
06-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #10
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I started out being told I had very mild Crohn's and I was symptom free for quite awhile, but when it got worse, it went fast! I think I could have gone into remission possibly if I would have started with meds. Praying that you go through your years symptom free!
06-12-2013, 04:47 PM   #11
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I have been on it since 1991 and I would recommend that someone seriously consider it as a treatment option. No side effects in the 22 years I have been on it.

Diagnosed since 1990
Current Medications: None currently. Was on Imuran (150mg/day) and 5-ASA (3000 mg/day) as maintenance meds prior to surgery
Surgeries: Left hemicolectomy 2014.

Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Azathioprine and Super-mild Crohns...
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